Every cultivator must come up with the best marijuana crop on the market. And the best marijuana crop should come as a result of many factors with careful cultivation and a well-designed curing plan included.
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In other words, you should strive to make your marijuana to have the best taste. That is why curing is encouraged to create an aromatic breed that attracts consumers at first glance and from a distance.
Curing is the final step that needs much of your attention because it determines your crop’s outcome. It also ensures that all mistakes made in the flowering process are fixed there and then.
You can achieve this feat by improving the flavor as well as implementing the controlled curing process. But the question lingering in your mind is how you can cure your marijuana buds to near perfection. Or how you can avoid mistakes from occurring and how you can cure ideal buds.
At the same time, you must be wondering how long it will take you to cure your buds and which methods for this task. Read on to find out more about how you can cure your marijuana buds to get the best final product.
1. The Process of Curing Marijuana Using Air
The first option to cure your marijuana is by use of air. But before you get down to this process, you need to know what the term curing marijuana stands for. In this context, this term refers to farmers’ technique to properly age or dry marijuana buds.
This important step takes place just before the product is made suitable for consumption. So after you are done with drying the buds, the next step should involve keeping them in a cool, dry place in readiness for future use.
How to Dry Marijuana?
Before you even start the actual curing of marijuana, you should first do some drying. The drying process is meant to get excess moisture from buds, and you should do it properly before going to the next step.
This important procedure entails the removal of moisture from your marijuana buds. The process makes the buds smoother, resilient against mold formation, and long-lasting. You are advised to apply a slow drying process throughout to bring out a high-quality cannabinoid profile that will rival other competitors.
In case your marijuana buds are not uniformly dry, make sure to seal them in a clean, brown paper bag. Then keep them in a dry, cool, and dark place for one week or even longer. Brown paper bags are recommended because they don’t encourage mold formation, as seen in plastic or white bags.
The Curing Process
After drying, the next process should be marijuana curing. You need to know about the curing process because it involves controlling the environment in which the product is being kept. The environment affects the overall process and, of course, the outcome of the product.
For instance, if your working environment is moist, your marijuana will grow some mildew or mold. This fungal growth will most likely cause your product to rot or have a bad taste.
On the other hand, if the area is too dry, your buds will dry as well. Once dry, they will not have that coveted full cannabinoid expression that everyone is looking out for.
How to start the curing process?
The process for curing marijuana starts the moment you cut down the first plant. This harvesting period needs a sufficient workforce to ensure that every mature marijuana plant is harvested for processing.
In the beginning, you will require a few essential tools and equipment to make your curing easy and effective. The first equipment will be mason jars for keeping the dried marijuana buds.
Your optimal marijuana curing environment in each jar should be:
- Humidity range: 60-65%
- Room temperature range:70°F or 21°C
Here are the steps to follow when carrying out air curing of your marijuana crop:
This step entails two major processes that improve the quality of marijuana. The process is curing and drying the buds. So, you may start by removing several stems from the buds. Removal of stems ensures that there is no transfer of moisture from the stems to the buds.
Place your marijuana crop in jars and cover them loosely using a lid. Make sure to open the jars at least once a day for a period of one to two weeks. Then do it once a week thereafter.
Fill every jar up to two-thirds with marijuana buds. The remaining one-third space in the jar ensures that there is sufficient air circulation at the top. Then keep the jars in a dry, cool, and dark place away from children or unauthorized personnel.
During the entire process, you should also make a habit of shaking the jars occasionally. This task is meant to make the buds to move around freely during the curing process. If you let them stick together, just know they are still in a wet state. For that reason, you must loosen the lids a little bit to help the buds dry as planned.
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A Word of Caution
If you notice your marijuana buds sticking together in what may look like clumps, you should take action as quickly as possible. The sticking together is an indication that they still have a lot of moisture in them. So, you should let them dry a little further.
On the other hand, too much drying can harm the buds. But if they are extremely wet, the curing process will slow down significantly. Again, too much moisture will promote mold development. With that in mind, you must not let your marijuana buds stay in the jars if they are too wet to dry quickly.
Another marijuana curing technique that prevents the formation of molds is to feel the texture of each bud. If not, you should look out for signs of funny odors before proceeding with the curing process.
The best marijuana buds should feel completely dry, especially on the outside. They should not stick together at any moment before processing them. In case you smell ammonia, this should automatically tell you that the beds are still too wet or harmful bacteria are trying to establish themselves on your marijuana buds.
The second step is meant to ensure that there is no mold formation due to excess moisture. Given that the lids on jars are all closed in the first few weeks of marijuana curing, you need to make a habit of checking them more often than before.
It is equally important to monitor your buds from time to time. At least you should do it every 24 hours at the initial stages of curing. It is also important to check and open the jars once a day. This is because every single bud needs a fresh air supply to make the curing more effective and successful. Remember, this is part of the entire marijuana curing process that you should know.
But how do you get to know if the curing process is successful? Well, you should take a few whiffs of marijuana buds in the jar. If the buds smell something close to ammonia or feel moist from outside, just know that they are not yet ready. Most likely, they are still wet. So they may require more time and air before you can close the jars once more.
But if the odor is plant-like consistently, rest assured that your marijuana curing process is a success and you are on the right track to achieving the best results.
In a nutshell, this step can serve as a measure to assess your marijuana curing technique. It involves tasting buds at specific stages while observing changes in each bud’s potency, among other factors of great importance.
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The secret to a great marijuana cure is nothing else but the humidity in its environment. In this regard, the best humidity should range from 60 to 65%. This is the amount of humidity that will enable you to get top-quality cured marijuana buds.
To ensure that you achieve this humidity, you should invest in a handy instrument that will help you determine the correct readings. The instrument is what is referred to as a hygrometer. However, the best choice is the Caliber IV, which is designed to fit nicely in the curing jars. You can order online at reasonable rates if you don’t have one.
A well-built hygrometer can provide you with accurate readings of the relative humidity in all situations and during subsequent periods of marijuana curing. This means that you should not have an excuse for guessing your readings at any given time. Guesswork in marijuana curing has no room once you get hold of a good and well-calibrated hygrometer.
Without using this tool, it will take you longer to obtain the curing process’s right results. As a matter of fact, you will not accurately tell if the buds are moist enough or not. This can be a frustrating affair considering that you have spent most of your time, energy, and money trying to cultivate the best marijuana crop.
You may decide to acquire only one hygrometer or go for more depending on your needs and purchasing power. But a single hygrometer can still work wonders if you know how to go about the curing process.
You need to place your hygrometer in different jars while checking the humidity daily and systematically to ensure that each jar is covered. When checking for the relative humidity, you should also observe the moisture on the marijuana buds. The buds need to release some moisture right from within their center towards the outside.
If you discover that a bud is still wet, give it more time to dry up gradually. With experience, you will always get everything right, even without using a hygrometer. All you need is to follow the right guidelines to achieve your goal.
Burping is a term used to refer to the process of exposing the marijuana buds to oxygen while inside the jars. This technique also allows the buds to get rid of excess moisture and carbon dioxide.
For that reason, you must always do the burping to enhance the curing process. In the course of burping, keep a close eye on the humidity levels inside the jars. At the same time, relocate the buds to a cold, dark place for storage.
The key to storing cured marijuana is patience and nothing more. It means that you have to apply your patience to make your marijuana acquire the enriched taste and the best aroma.
Curing buds in the jar for two or more months will also have a profound effect on your marijuana. Your anaerobically cured product will eventually start displaying consistency and uniform appearance throughout.
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2. The Process of Curing Marijuana Using Water
To some people, the water curing process for marijuana can sound like a fairy tale. The thought of dunking your well-cultivated crop into the water for some days can be traumatizing if it is your first time. But this option is as effective as air curing. Unlike air curing of marijuana, water curing comes before the actual drying of the buds happens.
The Requirements for Water Marijuana Curing
- Fresh Water: The first requirement to make this process reality is water. You can use tap water, although it does not guarantee impurity-free water. On that note, you can go for bottled or distilled water to be sure of the quality.
- Jar, Bowl, or Tub: Any of these containers can serve you better during the entire curing process. The size of your choice will most likely depend on the number of marijuana buds you intend to cure.
Water Marijuana Curing Steps
Start by trimming your marijuana buds carefully. Remove the fan leaves and stems to make the curing process easy. The trimming also helps make the marijuana buds finer for better quality.
Use distilled water to fill the glass jars. Then submerge the marijuana buds in the jar. Make sure your buds are fully submerged for a whole day or 24 hours. Each glass jar should be airtight for effective water curing.
Check the water temperature to ensure that it is right for your marijuana buds. The optimal temperature, in this case, should range from 65 to 75 °F.
This step relies heavily on the concept of osmosis about the movement of water and from the regions of higher concentration to regions of lower concentration. During the water marijuana curing process, the osmosis happens within the jars where the buds are kept.
The marijuana buds’ impurities move through the water, making it necessary to change the water once per day. The main reason for changing water is to ensure that equilibrium is attained within the jars. This is because water gets filled with salts and sugars from unwanted solids within the buds and later dissolves in water. If not changed, the jars’ water will become more concentrated and affect the whole curing process.
The fifth step is to keep a close eye on the water inside the jars every day. Once 5 or 7 days elapse, you will start seeing the water becoming clearer in the jars. When you notice such a change, just know that a handful of solids are left to be extracted and that the marijuana is almost cured.
At this moment, the water should be obvious. This is an indication that there are no more impurities to be extracted. So the drying process may start as soon as possible. Just hang the cured marijuana buds outside in the sun to dry them. In most cases, the water marijuana curing process lasts a few days to a week to give you the results you are looking for.
Advantages of Using Water Curing process for Marijuana Buds
- The best thing about using water to cure your marijuana is that the CBD, THC, and Terpenes, which are fat-soluble, will not be affected. Meaning that they won’t dissolve in water during the process. But other impurities, including chlorophyll, are soluble in water, which means they are extracted from the marijuana buds in the curing process.
- Water curing is a more straightforward process compared to air curing. It only requires the bare minimum to make it work.
- You only require a few tools and equipment to start your curing process. Water and jars are the two most important commodities needed to make the process successful.
- Water helps to get rid of unwanted solids from your marijuana buds.
- Another significant benefit of using the water marijuana curing process is that you can still use spoiled or rotten marijuana buds to produce outstanding final products.
Disadvantages of Using Water Curing Process for Marijuana Buds
- The use of water to cure marijuana has a devastating effect on many things, including the product’s aroma. Water takes away the aroma from the marijuana buds and the distinguishing flavor of the product.
- When it comes to commercial use, aesthetic appeal is the most important thing to consider. But water curing for this product cannot guarantee the whole product’s final outlook once curing is done. In fact, this process takes away most of the aesthetic value associated with marijuana products. This effect extends to determining the market value of marijuana because many consumers prefer going for the aesthetic appeal, among other things.
- There is a higher tendency of being duped by unscrupulous marijuana farmers who may sell you substandard products that are water cured. This is the case, given that water curing takes away unwanted solids, making it hard to know if the product is from a bad marijuana batch or a good one.
If you think the taste and aroma matter the most to you or your customers, it is prudent that you stick to the traditional curing methods. Water curing is quite efficient and effective. This process does not degrade or alter the potency of your marijuana buds. Besides, it allows you to taste your product immediately after curing to assess the quality.
But if you are looking to preserve your marijuana for a long time, the water curing process is not for you. Instead, you should focus on air curing to be the ultimate solution to a long-lasting marijuana product.
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3. Marijuana Storage
After you are finished with curing your marijuana, the next crucial process is how to store it to last longer. Luckily, there are quite a several tools and tactics that you can use to store your product longer. Such tools will be discussed in more detail later.
You need to know about marijuana because drying it for too long can make it lose its potency. When it is too moist, there is a greater risk of developing molds. But when you cure it the right way, the marijuana buds can last for many months or up to one year.
How Light Influences Marijuana Storage
According to research carried out by the University of London, light is essential for marijuana bud degradation. The same study revealed that when marijuana is stored under conducive conditions, it can become stable for a period of up to two years. This piece of information shows you that light and sunlight, in particular, are the most significant factors that influence the degradation of your weed.
For instance, light lowers the potency of marijuana buds and also worsens their taste. The same case is true with the ultraviolet (UV) rays when it comes to the quality of marijuana buds. The UV is known to degrade this crop over time. With that information at the back of your mind, you should consider storing your marijuana bud away from any form of light, whether natural or artificial.
How Air Control Influences Marijuana Storage
You need to be in full control of the amount of air your marijuana buds are exposed to during the air curing process. Absolute control and close monitoring of air around the weed will help it last longer when stored.
Even though marijuana needs a sufficient amount of oxygen when growing, excess air during storage can destroy its flavor and taste. Only the right amount of air is necessary to keep it fresh and true to its usual form. On the other hand, too little air can ruin their relative humidity, which will affect its potency.
How Humidity Factor Affects Marijuana Storage
You should control humidity levels around your marijuana buds to make sure that they don’t develop mold or mildew. This is a critical task to undertake because it ensures that you get perfectly cured buds at the end of the curing process.
The right humidity maintains and enhances color, aroma, flavor, and consistency. Therefore, you should consider keeping your marijuana at a relative humidity of 60-65 % all the time. Above 65%, your marijuana will start forming some mold. And the trichomes will become brittle when the relative humidity is below 55%.
Use a well-functioning hygrometer to obtain and maintain the most accurate reading of the relative humidity to keep your crop in good condition.
How Temperature Affects Marijuana Storage
The ideal temperature for the growth and establishment of mold or mildew ranges from 77°F to 86°F. This temperate range shows that these forms of fungi thrive best in warmer places. Having said that, you must consider storing your marijuana buds in a dry, cool, and dark place.
But keeping marijuana in a cool place does not imply that it should be stored in a cold environment. Cold conditions can dramatically impact the decarboxylation process. Alternatively, keeping them in hotter places can have adverse effects on their durability, flavor, and taste. Excess heat can easily dry out cannabinoids and terpenes in marijuana. So the best temperature at which you can store your cured crop should range from 32°F to 68°F.
How Airtight Containers Affect Marijuana Storage
Protective airtight containers will enable you to store your marijuana buds for a long time. The containers will protect the weed against external conditions that may interfere with their storage. The most recommended containers for this task are the mason jars. These jars are crafted to prolong the life of the marijuana buds.
Don’t go for plastic containers because they can cause the buds to sweat and spoil them. Once your marijuana buds are safely stored in a mason jar, you should keep them away from direct light and heat. For better storage, you may look for a blacked-out ultraviolet airtight glass jar.
How Humidity Packs Affect Marijuana Storage
Humidity packs play a crucial role in preserving the marijuana’s organoleptic quality. These packs also help to preserve this crop for a longer period. Unlike the airtight containers that store marijuana buds for a couple of weeks, humidity packs are designed to keep the same product for several months. They help monitor humidity levels, preserve the marijuana buds, and prevent mold growth throughout.
Regardless of these handy tools and equipment, you should consider curing marijuana buds properly to make them last longer under the necessary conditions. The curing process should also be mold-free and up to standard to ensure that your crop maintains its quality for a very long time.
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4. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Curing Marijuana
When it comes to marijuana curing, there are mistakes to avoid if you want to have a smooth process. Any slight mistake can render your effort fruitless and your product worthless. A poorly done curing method can significantly lower THC’s percentage, thus resulting in a less-intensified psychoactive effect on consumers. The question is, how do you manage to avoid common mistakes when curing your marijuana?
1. Avoid storing your marijuana buds in plastic containers
You should not use plastic containers to store marijuana because they can easily contaminate it. Any type of plastic is known to attack trichomes-hair-like outgrowths on marijuana leaves that act as a defense mechanism and make the whole product go bad. Trichomes help to keep away frost and reduce evaporation. So you must avoid keeping marijuana in plastic bags or containers to maintain its quality.
2. Don’t Use a Freezer to Store Marijuana
Since trichomes found on leaves are fragile, there are high chances of freezing temperatures to make them brittle. And when brittle, they can easily cause your marijuana buds to break off and lose their potency.
3. Don’t Use a Refrigerator to Store Marijuana
Temperature and humidity fluctuations in the fridge can increase mildew and mold development on marijuana buds. This means that keeping them in a fridge is not a good idea because it will compromise their shelf life and quality.
4. Don’t Store Marijuana in Rubber Sealed Jars
Instead of using rubber sealed jars, you can settle for mason jars. The rubber sealed jars are likely to make your marijuana develop mold and mildew, potentially ruining it.
5. Don’t store your marijuana with other products
It is not right to mix your marijuana buds with other paraphernalia to avoid making the contain stink. The stink can alter the taste and flavor of marijuana, making it less effective.
6. Don’t use the tobacco humidor
The reason why you should not use the tobacco humidor is that it is made from cedarwood. This type of wood contains some oils that can get into your marijuana and change the flavor. It also has a sponge, making the marijuana moist, changing the aroma, or altering the taste.
7. Don’t keep your marijuana near heat-producing appliances
Excess heat can cause the cannabinoid and terpene in your marijuana to dry out. As such, it is wise to store it away from any source of heat. Store it in a basement, shelf, or a low cupboard away from heat.
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5. What is the Importance of Curing Marijuana Buds?
Harvesting is not the final process of cultivating marijuana, as some people would want you to believe. Instead, other processes come after to make this product more valuable.
Have a look at the significant aspect of curing marijuana buds:
- Curing marijuana helps you to produce top-quality buds.
- It prevents cases of mold and mildew growth on the product.
- It also increases the aroma, durability, and texture of marijuana.
- It helps promote the preservation of the product for a very long period.
- The process of marijuana curing improves the overall quality and taste.
- It increases the product’s potency by preserving the THC and CBD levels.
- The process of curing freshly harvested marijuana promotes cannabinoid conversion.
- Curing marijuana buds immediately after harvesting plays a crucial role in decreasing the chances of inducing some side effects to consumers
6. Frequently Asked Questions About Curing Marijuana
Below are some of the questions and answers that will help you carry out the right method of curing marijuana buds:
Q1: Why do you think that the marijuana buds should be moist right from the inside but dry from the outside?
A: During the marijuana curing process, there is some moisture left inside the bud. This moisture is meant to sustain the bacteria residing in the bud. The moisture should be just enough for bacteria and not in excess to promote mold and mildew that can affect your product. Also, the bacteria require some oxygen to thrive and multiply.
This means that if you leave the buds open, they will let in some heat and dry out, killing bacteria in the process. The presence of bacteria in the bud creates a balance between anaerobic and aerobic processes. This type of environment is conducive to the growth and development of bacteria, which influences the production of THC, THCA, and CBD compounds.
Q2: If your buds become too moist, what should you do?
A: It is more confusing when you try to get marijuana buds that are neither too dry nor too moist. The best way to go about this task is to consider the right pointers to get the best quality of marijuana buds. If you put some marijuana buds in a jar and still feel wet, you should take off the lid.
Removing the lid from the jar will allow the buds to dry off gradually and properly just before the curing process starts. If you notice that some buds are damp before placing them in jars, let them dry out a little bit and then take them to their respective jars. If you don’t follow this simple step, your marijuana buds will end up developing mold and mildew.
Q3: How much longer should you wait to cure your marijuana buds?
A: The time you will take before you can start the curing process depends on the buds themselves. The time can range from a few weeks to several months. This should tell you that patience is the key when preparing to process your marijuana buds.
Q4: How do you know that your buds have been cured?
A: The best way to know if your marijuana buds have been cured properly is by checking their texture. If you notice that your buds are sticky and spongy in their texture, rest assured that the curing has been successful. Also, if they are easy to break or smell like fresh fruit, just know they have been cured perfectly. Anything contrary to the texture and fruit smell means that your product is not properly cured.
Q5: What should you do if you discover that your buds are drying out too fast?
A: Your buds are only considered too dry when they are brittle and crumbly. In this state, they cannot be cured properly. Therefore, you will have to reach out to some humidity packs to humidify them before the actual curing process starts.
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To make your marijuana healthier and effective, it is advisable to cure it. The curing process is easy and timeless if you follow the right procedure. And it is also super easy, provided that you practice your patience the best way you can. That said, you need to pay attention to every detail involving the marijuana buds curing process to ensure that everything is going well.
Once cured, the final product will look something like beige buds with a nice taste and potent effect.
Apart from that, your storage will help determine the longevity of your marijuana buds. It will also make them more valuable than when in a freshly cut state. Most importantly, pay attention to every step, detail, and procedure if you want to prepare the best marijuana that can rival other similar products on the market.